Relationships are one of the most important aspects of our lives. Whether we are talking about romantic relationships, family, or friends, these interpersonal connections have a profound impact on who we are and how we interact with the world around us. At their best, relationships bring joy, love, and support; at their worst, they can be sources of conflict and heartbreak.
We all have expectations. We expect the sun to rise in the morning, we expect our food to be fresh and free of toxins, and we expect our loved ones to behave in certain ways.
But when those expectations are based on unrealistic assumptions or false beliefs, they can do more harm than good. In fact, they can even destroy relationships.
5 expectations that can destroy relationships:
The expectation of perfection: When we expect our loved ones to be perfect, we set them up for disappointment. No one is perfect, and trying to meet that impossible standard will only lead to frustration and resentment. Instead of expecting perfection, learn to love your partner for who they are, flaws and all.
The expectation of always being right: Have you ever been in an argument with your partner where you just couldn’t let go of the need to be right? If so, you’re not alone. It’s human nature to want to be right, but constantly needing to be right can be destructive to a relationship. Why? Because it means you’re more focused on winning the argument than on finding a resolution that works for both of you. If you find yourself getting caught up in the need to always be right, try taking a step back and asking yourself what’s more important: being right or being happy.
The expectation of always needing to agree: Couples who agree on everything are at a higher risk of divorce than couples who don’t, according to research from the University of Michigan. That’s because when we expect our partner to always agree with us, it means we’re not valuing their opinion as much as we value our own. And that’s not healthy for any relationship. So, next time you find yourself in an argument with your partner, try listening to their point of view instead of trying to steamroll them into agreeing with you. You might be surprised at how much closer it brings you together.
The expectation of mind reading: We’ve all had those moments where we’ve looked at our partner and thought, “How could they possibly not know what I’m thinking or feeling?” But the truth is, mind reading is impossible. And expecting your partner to know what you’re thinking or feeling without actually telling them is a recipe for disaster. If you want your partner to know what’s going on inside your head, you have to communicate with them directly. Otherwise, you’re just setting yourself up for frustration and resentment.
The expectation of always being happy: Just because you’re in a relationship doesn’t mean you’re going to be happy all the time. Happiness is relative. When we’re used to being happy all the time, anything less than that feels like a let-down and that can put a strain on even the happiest of relationships. So instead of expecting to be happy all the time, try accepting that sometimes life (and relationships) are going to have their ups and downs—and that’s OKAY!
It is therefore important to understand each other’s expectations and do our best to manage them in order to strengthen our relationship. Whether we are looking to start a new relationship or maintain an existing one, setting realistic expectations is essential for building trust and lasting happiness.
(With inputs from Dr. Chandni Tugnait is M.D. (Alternative Medicines), Psychotherapist, and Life Coach)